“My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I happened to be browsing the bookshop at St Pancras Station before my train on my last trip down to London when this book jumped out at me.  Just look at the title – who wouldn’t get drawn to this book?  I didn’t regret it at all.  My advice on this book – get it now!  It’s a brilliant book.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Summary

The book is written from the point of view of Korede – a respectable, mature nurse who’s quiet, methodical, and trustworthy…and harbouring a deep secret.  Her sister kills her boyfriends ‘in self-defence’ and calls Korede afterwards to help her clean up.  Which she does.  The book starts with the clean up of Ayoota’s (the sister’s) third victim.  The book explores the sisters’ relationship and follows Korede’s mental torment as Ayoola starts dating the doctor colleague that Korede’s in love with.  When the inevitable attempt on his life happens, Korede has to choose who’s story to back up – her sister’s lie, or her soulmate’s truth?

What I Liked

The strength of the characters – they were relatable and consistent.  They weren’t too perfect nor too flawed.  The characters and story were so well-written that this story practically jumped off the page and acted the story out around me as I was reading.

Also the humour.  Possibly not what you’d expect in a murder thriller novel, but it was constant and subtle throughout the pages. 

Despite it being the premise of the book, the murders didn’t feel like they were essential.  They were just there.

What I Didn’t Like

I think it also speaks to the quality of the book that the only thing I can think of to put under this heading is – I didn’t like the way everyone else in her life treated Korede.  Yes they loved her, but it was lip service.  Her mother clearly favoured Ayoola and felt, and often told Korede, that it was her (Korede’s) duty to look after Ayoola, encourage her love interests, and generally propel her forward.  Ayoola expected her to come when she called, help clear up her murders and cover for her.

Conclusion

This book is incredibly well-written.  It’s witty yet serious and brooding in all the right places.  If you fancy an easy-read, you can’t go far wrong if this is the one you picked up. “My Sister, The Serial Killer” is Oyinkan Briathwaite’s first novel.  All I can say is: when is the second one coming out?

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